The following letter from Thomas Buchanan dated July 14, 1865 at Brownstown, WV to Governor Arthur I. Boreman offers insight into immediate postwar conditions in Logan and Boone counties, WV. The letter was titled “Enclosed account for services in recruiting a Co. of Scouts for Logan & Boone Counties.”
July 14, 1865
His Excellency A.I. Boreman (Governor)
Sir: I Rec’d an order dated March 2nd 1865 authorizing me to organize a company of State Guards for the counties of Logan and Boone to consist of not less than 25 men. At first I thought I could recruit 25 men in a short time, but I was much deceived. Men remaining in those counties at that time had bin [sic] conscripted in to the Confederate service (or what they called State line Service under the Confederate authorities) and had bin [sic] disbanded and they seemed to have taken up the idea (or a portion of them at least) that neutral ground was saftest for them, as the country was infested with bushwhackers, and sixty or seventy miles outside of federal lines I could get no assistance from federal troops and consequently had to scout alone and sometimes [with] one man for company. Finally I succeeded in recruiting 32 or 33 men, made off my muster Roll, called my men together, the required oath was administered to them by John A. Barker, a Justice of the Peace, and his certificate with the Roll and form of oaths was directed to the adjutant Gen’l of the State and I have not heard from it since tho when Richmond fell I did not expect my men would be armed and equipped tho I shall expect to be enumerated for my services to the State for recruiting the company.
P.S. My address is Logan C.H., W.Va. I did not expect an answer to my muster Roll.
Source: West Virginia Adjutant Generals’ Papers, Union Militia 1861-1865, Militia Box 12, Logan County, Folder 2. WV State Archives and History, Charleston, WV.
Note: To see Mr. Buchanan’s account, follow this link: http://www.wvculture.org/history/wvmemory/militia/logan/logan02-01.html